Boat solar panels are the gift that keeps on giving; free power, coupled with zero running costs – what could possibly be better than that?
The fact of the matter is that there are costs associated with boat solar panels beyond the price of the panels themselves. While some types of panels can be simply laid on the deck, in many cases some form of mount will be required.
Then there’s the wiring to hook them up to your battery, plus any fitment and/or cosmetic work needed to hide the cabling from view. If your panels are to be left connected permanently, you’ll require a regulator too.
But once all of the above have been overcome – and providing you’ve done your homework to ensure your panels will generate sufficient power to cover your needs – then, yes, it’s a power free for all.
Apart from the occasional wipe over and a wiring check, they’re largely maintenance-free too.
Here’s our choice of the best boat solar panels.
Giosolar 1,000W flexible solar panel
Delivering a mighty kilowatt of power, (not far off the amount used by a one bedroom house), this Giostar package comprises ten separate 100W panels, each of which is 1,050 x 540 x 2.5mm in size.
Capable of charging either 12 or 24V batteries, a kit of this magnitude is one for the most serious of solar enthusiasts – Eco Experts reckons 660-990W is sufficient for a liveaboard.